A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Court Rejects Petitioner’s Request For Shoulder Surgery on Second Reopener

By on August 9, 2016 in Awards, Compensability with 0 Comments

Just because an employer accepts an injury to a body member as part of an award does not mean that all future treatment to that body member will be found work related.  That is the rule in Daniel v. United Airlines, No. A-1252-14, 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1816 (App. Div. August 2, 2016). Petitioner, […]

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Appellate Division Reverses Comp Award For Underpaying Claimant Due To An Incorrect Social Security Offset Calculation

By on August 1, 2016 in Awards with 0 Comments

Josephine Lucciola appealed from an order denying her request to vacate a February 23, 2012 order establishing her social security offset.  She contended that the order contained the wrong offset calculation and that she was being shorted tens of thousands of dollars by her employer, Home Depot.  There was no dispute that Lucciola had been […]

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Appellate Division Allows Comp Retaliation Case To Proceed To Jury

By on July 25, 2016 in Compensability with 0 Comments

Workers’ compensation retaliation claims are rare birds in New Jersey, and the case of Robinson v. Armadillo Automation, Inc. explains the standard for proving such cases.  Spencer Robinson worked as a valve technician from May 2005 until August 2011.  He alleged that when he was hired, he disclosed a prior low back condition, and he […]

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Second Hand Smoke Cancer Claim Is Barred For Late Filing

In Pulejo v. Middlesex County Consumer Affairs, A-3133-14T4 (App. Div. July 14, 2016), the petitioner, an investigator for the County, alleged that he worked along side a chain smoker four to five hours per day, five days per week, from 1976 to 1997. Mr. Pulejo was diagnosed in 2000 with lung cancer and underwent a bilobectomy.  Mr. […]

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Court Finds Herniated Disc Condition Meets Test of Disability under ADAAA

By on July 13, 2016 in ADA, Uncategorized with 0 Comments

Anthony Mazzeo provided technical and sales services to customers in Florida and southern Georgia for Color Resolutions International LLC.  He was diagnosed with a herniated disc in his low back in 2007.  His employer was aware of his condition.  Between January and March 2009 Mazzeo had three discussions with his supervisor regarding possible back surgery […]

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Workers’ Comp Lien Applies to Medical Payments That Could Have Been Paid Through Plaintiff’s PIP Carrier

Ever since the decision in Dever v. New Jersey Mfrs. Ins. Co., No. A-3102-11T2, (App. Div. Oct. 23, 2013), plaintiffs’ counsel have been arguing that respondents do not have a lien for medical bills paid in workers’ compensation from a work-related car accident where the plaintiff had PIP coverage.  But civil courts have not been […]

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Court Finds That Severe Neck Pathology Was Not Due To Occupational Activities But Rather To The Natural Aging Process

By on June 28, 2016 in Claims, Uncategorized with 0 Comments

Lois Scafuri filed three workers’ compensation claims alleging occupational exposures as a sales assistant caused her severe neck pathology.  She worked at the Short Hills Mall for two employers: Sisley Cosmetics and Neiman Marcus Group.  She later worked for Bloomingdale’s/Macy’s in the same capacity.  All three employers denied her claims asserting that her neck pathology […]

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Rotator Cuff Tear May Be A Covered Disability Under ADA

By on June 21, 2016 in ADA with 1 Comment

Michael Cannon applied for a job with Jacobs Field Services (hereinafter JFS) as a field engineer for a Colorado mining site. The company made him a job offer conditioned on his passing a post-offer medical examination.  During the post-offer exam, Cannon revealed to the doctor that he had an inoperable rotator cuff tear and had […]

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Judge of Compensation Rejects Medical Reimbursement Claim and Adopts Paid Fees as Being Most Reliable Measure of Reasonable and Necessary Care

By on June 13, 2016 in Controlling Costs with 0 Comments

The New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation has thousands of medical reimbursement claims in various stages of negotiation and litigation.  Few cases actually get tried because most medical providers do not want to come to court to defend their charges. The vast majority of cases get settled through negotiations.  One recent case, however, involved testimony […]

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Obesity Is Not An Impairment Unless It Results From An Underlying Physiological Disorder

By on June 6, 2016 in ADA with 0 Comments

An important ADA decision has come from the Court of Appeals in the Eighth Circuit in Morriss v. BNSF Railway Company, 817 F.3d 1104 (8th Cir. 2016).  The case stems from a post-offer medical examination.  Melvin Morriss applied for a machinist position and received a conditional offer of employment.  He was required to undergo a […]

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Appellate Court Upholds Termination of Employee Who Exceeded Light Duty Limit

By on May 30, 2016 in ADA with 1 Comment

Most employers put limits on light duty and do not allow permanent light duty.  That was the case of the employer in the matter of Frazier-White v. David Gee, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 6318 (11th. Cir. 2016).  Plaintiff Frazier-White worked as a community service officer for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO).  She was responsible […]

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Key Appellate Case Explains Confidentiality Rules in New Jersey Workers’ Comp

By on May 21, 2016 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

The most expansive discussion of confidentiality in workers’ compensation comes ironically from a civil law suit in the matter of Seymoure v. A.O. Smith Water Products Company, et. al., A-3967-14T3 (App. Div. May 11, 2016).  The case arose from an asbestos law suit filed by Gwendolyn Seymoure, who sued several defendants, including Union Carbide Corporation […]

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When Should an Employer Order a Fitness-For-Duty or Functional Capacity Exam?

By on May 15, 2016 in Controlling Costs with 0 Comments

This is the second article devoted to fitness-for-duty examinations and Functional Capacity Exams (FCE) in workers’ compensation. The first segment focused on how such examinations can lead to significant cost savings for employers and common mistakes that are made by employers.  This segment will focus on when to order a fitness exam or FCE and […]

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Fitness-For-Duty and Functional Capacity Exams: Important Tools in Reducing Workers’ Compensation Costs

By on May 12, 2016 in Controlling Costs with 0 Comments

We have all seen this situation: an employee with a physical job has major surgery and is given restrictions by the treating doctor, who issues an MMI note (maximum medical improvement).  When temporary disability benefits are stopped, the employee immediately calls to see about returning to work.  The employer indicates that it cannot take the […]

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Appellate Division Sides With Petitioner in Dispute Over Compensability on Motion Trial

By on May 6, 2016 in Compensability with 0 Comments

It can be difficult to predict the outcome of appeals where the issue before the Judge of Compensation is credibility of witnesses as opposed to pure legal issues.  In Frank Hodson v. C. Abbonizio Contractors, Inc., A-2083-14T3 (App. Div. May 2, 2016), Mr. Hodson said that while working as a laborer on May 9 and […]

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